Medicines Classification Committee (MCC)
29/09/2017. In this submission we provided comments on six agenda items. These included classification of codeine, hydrocortisone with aciclovir, penciclovir, meningococcal group B vaccine and cetirizine, and the principles of harmonisation. Our main focus in this submission was the potential reclassification of codeine. We were opposed to any classification that would reduce direct access to codeine through a pharmacist. We supported mandatory real-time monitoring of codeine to allow codeine to continue to be available through community pharmacy.
In this submission, we provided comments on nine agenda items. These included classification of nicotine and e-cigarettes, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, sildenafil, codeine, sedating antihistamines and ulipristal.
We provided additional support for the reclassification of oral contraceptives, strongly supported the reclassification of adapalene to enable pharmacists to provide a first line acne treatment, strongly supported of the change in classification wording of many medicines available over-the-counter to allow these medicines to be repackaged by pharmacists. Raised concerns regarding the change in classification wording of benzydamine and lignocaine, as this would see an increased number of products to treat the symptoms of a sore throat to be available through general sale. Strongly opposed the proposal to allow loratadine to be available in larger pack sizes through general sale, and opposed the reclassification albendazole to a Pharmacy-Only Medicine.
Our submission included: Objections to recommendations made at the 53rd meeting around the reclassification of Oral Contraceptives. The Guild strongly supports the extension of influenza vaccination by pharmacists. We support the Medsafe submission proposing to reclassify 1,3-dimethylamylamine from a general sale to a prescription medicine.
We strongly supported the proposed reclassifications of both nitrofurantoin and oral contraceptives from prescription medicines to restricted medicines. Had nitrofurantoin been reclassified it would have provided a solution to the current situation where a pharmacist is unable to supply trimethoprim if the patient has had treatment with an antibiotic in the last six months. We strongly believe that oral contraceptives are safe medicines and there is no reason to not make them more accessible for New Zealand women. We have formally objected to the MCC decision not to reclassify oral contraceptives and our objection has been considered to be valid.
We opposed the reclassification of beclomethasone from pharmacy-only to general sale medicine, strongly opposed the reclassification of omeprazole from pharmacy-only to general sale and supported the reclassification of paracetamol in combination with phenylephrine to pharmacy-only and restricted medicine.
We supported the reclassification of sildenafil from prescription medicine to pharmacist-only medicine, strongly opposed the reclassification of oxymetazoline from pharmacy-only to general sale medicine, and supported the reclassification of certain oral contraceptives from prescription-only to pharmacist-only medicines.
Our feedback covers the review of the classification criteria; Diptheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine; Cholera vaccine; Meningococcal vaccine; Naproxen tablets or capsules; Ibuprofen in combination with phenylephrine tablets; Diclofenac topical and vitamin D; observers during reclassification submissions; and reclassification of medicines in Denmark.
Our feedback covers six agenda items. These are: classification criteria, influenza vaccine, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, hydrocortisone topical preparation, ibuprofen in liquid sachet unit dose forms, melatonin 2mg prolonged release tablet and oseltamivir 75mg powder filled capsules.
The Guild does not support the company submissions to reclassify cetirizine hydrochloride 10mg tablet (Histaclear) and loratadine 10mg tablet (Loraclear Hayfever Relief) from pharmacy-only to general sale medicines, when sold in packs containing sufficient tablets for only five days supply and when used for seasonal allergic rhinitis. The proposals underestimate the importance of the significant clinical expertise and medicines information that community pharmacists provide when supplying these medicines to patients.
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